Improving food security in Africa through agroforestry

The Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) is studying three different types of agroforestry systems in Cameroon, Kenya and Madagascar in an attempt to demonstrate that agroforestry can improve food security and wellbeing for African farmers in rural areas.

The AFS4Food project not only aims to show how food and cash crops can be effectively combined, it will also launch a network of partners in countries where CIRAD has had a longstanding presence.

CIRAD agronomist and project coordinator, Didier Snoeck, is quoted on their website as saying "an effective agroforestry system lies somewhere between a monoculture, which has a very strong effect on the environment, and an agroforest, which rarely provides farmers with a satisfactory living”.

With benefits for both farmers and the environment, agroforestry offers diversification, reduced workloads and lower use of inputs. It can also make farmers less vulnerable to climatic and economic variability. Environmental services - including soil fertility and water resource preservation, prevention of erosion, carbon storage and biodiversity conservation, can be maintained through agroforestry.

Read the full story: Agroforestry for improving the living conditions of African farmers